As social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies, or the SMAC Stack, emerge as the catalyst for today’s wave of digital business innovation, the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) is beginning its transition from buzzword to breakthrough status at organizations willing to take the plunge.
After years of unrealistic prognostications and unfulfilled reality, the IoT’s potential is being proved in early trial and pilot projects. The insights gained from ambient data acquired from smart, connected and instrumented objects and infrastructure are illuminating the path for businesses to enhance employee productivity, increase operational efficiency and create new business ecosystems across nearly every product and production process that can be made Internet Protocol (IP) addressable.
Certainly the IoT landscape has yet to settle out, as evidenced by the lack of technical standards (see Quick Take), concerns over data privacy, and typical worries over “operationalizing” proofs of concept at production scale or monetizing data streams that result from IoT investments. However, technologies and tools are emerging from third-party vendors and integrators to make products and services smart and secure, and organizations are beginning to work through the many challenges of where to begin, how to build a secure and scalable infrastructure, and what the ROI could eventually be.
Leading companies are staring down the risks and exploring the possibilities, moving briskly from ideation to prototyping. They believe that previous waves of Internet innovations are merely a prelude to the unprecedented changes that the IoT will bring to the way we live and work, particularly as smart objects are embedded into everyday consumer experiences and production value chains.